Up & Coming 

This Week's Music Previews

THE SHINS Keller Auditorium, 9/26

THE SHINS Keller Auditorium, 9/26

THURSDAY 9/20

ONUINU, SHY GIRLS, MAGIC FADES, BOBBY DANGEROUS, DJ ZACK
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Read our article on Onuinu.

M. WARD, MIKE COYKENDALL
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Read our article on M. Ward.

FATHER JOHN MISTY, JENNY O
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) I thought I was predisposed to not like Father John Misty given Josh Tillman's previous solo work and his tenure with Fleet Foxes. Sad-sack folk tends to lull me to sleep. Trading in the drab chill of Seattle for the warmer climes of the historically musically rich Laurel Canyon of Los Angeles, Tillman reemerged playing pop songs that capture the spirit of LA excess and depravity that's been glorified for decades. This reinvention from backwoods folkie to '60s pop-cult leader works for Father John Misty. And the music benefits greatly, both in the arrangements and the fact that the lyrics are fun and strange. Whether it's sincere or not doesn't even matter—Tillman paints a wonderful picture. MARK LORE

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE, MICACHU AND THE SHAPES
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) To their credit, Animal Collective haven't completely shrugged off their foundation of weirdness. Despite garnering a bafflingly big fanbase—due mostly to the sparkling, designer-drug sounds on 2009's Merriweather Post Pavilion—they're still ornamenting their twinkly, simple, rave-ready melodies with sonic curveballs and downright ugly noises. The new Centipede Hz could have been their bid for the mainstream; rather, it's a strange, affable record with some catchy tunes and a thick bath of wretched-sounding digital timbres. It seems that Animal Collective's high-water mark of 2005's Feels won't likely be revisited—that record actually sounded like elemental demigods being awoken from a deep slumber. Merriweather and Centipede, on the other hand, are much closer to the truth, sounding like a group of smart kids fucking around with digital toys. NED LANNAMANN

TERRAPLANE SUN, THE MOWGLIS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Buzz surrounding the LA-based Terraplane Sun consistently and bafflingly references their "raw" and "gritty" aesthetic. To be sure, Ben Rothbard's nimble wail nails the spirit of the westward blues migration of the '60s. And the surprising presence of a trombone and mandolin create unexpected layers. But that's not quite the same thing as down-and-dirty blues rock produced with only a shoestring and enthusiasm. For example, the song "Get Me Golden," off the forthcoming Friends EP, has been featured in one of this year's better blockbusters (21 Jump Street), as well as one of the worst (What to Expect When You're Expecting). Also, a Citibank commercial. To me, these big budget spots indicate the real truth: Terraplane Sun is upbeat, easy to like, and has broad appeal. And none of these things are bad! In fact, it's one of the main purposes of making music. And by most accounts, their live show is a force of nature. REBECCA WILSON

SUNDAZE, THE UPSIDEDOWN, RINGO DEATHSTARR, WL
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Don't let Ringo Deathstarr's ridiculous name frighten you... come back! Please? This Austin four-piece makes blissfully fuzzy pop with a sad-sack bent. Sound familiar? While My Bloody Valentine comparisons are inevitable, RDS do it with aplomb. The band will release their sophomore record, Mauve, this month, which promises more of the same. Joining the shoegaze fun are locals WL (pronounced "Well"), featuring members of Blouse and Houndstooth. The band has a new 7-inch out that's worth wrapping your ears around. Okay, last question: So what if this show causes a little déjà vu? Nostalgia is what we live for. Right? ML

FRIDAY 9/21

BLACK PRAIRIE, SHELLEY SHORT, DARREN HANLON
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Black Prairie.

SALLIE FORD AND THE SOUND OUTSIDE, OLD LIGHT
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside have been on the road a lot lately, including a French tour earlier this summer that was largely sold out, and more recently a cross-country tour that brought their juke-joint swing to many an intimate American venue. The band's debut, Dirty Radio, was digitally reissued in late August with two previously unreleased tracks chosen by fan vote. One of those tracks is the smoky, sexy "Like a Drug," which trades Ford's barbs at cultural homogenization (as in opener "I Swear") for a swaggering, slow-jam shuffle and diamond-sharp vocals that Jessica Rabbit would envy. Ford & Co. may still wear their Asheville hearts on their sleeves, but Portland has never beamed brighter for some transplants gone large. See why at this homecoming show. RYAN J. PRADO

THE RAVEONETTES, MELODY'S ECHO CHAMBER, THE UPSIDEDOWN
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) The Raveonettes' latest, Observator, doesn't break far from their established mentholated sound: sweet, dark pop with hat tips to girl-group bouffants, the Velvet Underground's black-turtleneck cool, the Jesus and Mary Chain's overdriven clang, and electric-tape goth glamour. Main songwriter Sune Rose Wagner wrote a very candid account of the record's inception—it involved a trip to LA and a lot of drugs and alcohol. Perhaps due to his difficulties, his emotional state is a little hard to pin down on Observator (bandmate Sharin Foo tackles lead vocals on a number of tracks), but the record contains some of their most heartfelt work, alongside some of their most sleek and misdirectional. Six albums in, the Raveonettes have developed one of the most consistent bodies of work in the past decade, and if critics dismiss them as too repetitive, fans recognize the depth and subtlety of their catalog. Let's hope Wagner's troubles are behind him and there are many more Raveonettes albums to come. NL

SATURDAY 9/22

PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT: RADIOHEAD'S OK COMPUTER
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!

BILL CALLAHAN
(Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE WE SHARED MILK, CHARTS, TALKATIVE, OLD AGE, OPERATION MISSION, LOG ACROSS THE WASHER
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on the We Shared Milk.

THE EVAPORATORS, THE TRANZMITORS, THE BLOODTYPES, YOUTHBITCH, DJ KEN DIRTNAP
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Every track I hear from the Tranzmitors—and spread out over various 7-inches and albums, there are a lot; get thee to their Bandcamp page—sounds like a goddamn classic. The Vancouver, BC, band specializes in quick, nervy gems of power pop that are powerful good. The lyrics deal bluntly with that time-honored theme of adolescent angst (in fake British accents, no less); the guitars chime and bang into one another; the drums bash at full throttle as if the band's lives depended on it; an occasional organ or guitar solo is thrown in for good measure. And what great songs! Take your pick: Latest single "Concrete Depression," for example, has echoes of Stiff Little Fingers and the Jam, but also boasts an instrumental break and a key change that turns the track into an ecstatic, controlled frenzy of the very best kind. And B-side "A Little Bit Closer" cross-pollinates Tommy James and the Shondells with the Clash, resulting in marvelous, caffeine-addled new highs. Maybe it's crazy to put the Tranzmitors alongside bands like the Kinks and the Who and Big Star and the Jam, but, yeah. I'm gonna do that. NL

MATISYAHU, DIRTY HEADS, PACIFIC DUB
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Reggae rapper Matisyahu is reliably abysmal. And while I haven't yet fully absorbed his latest LP, Spark Seeker (I'm halfway through my second listen and am experiencing a weird canker sore outbreak—concluding there's some correlation), I feel confident in my assumption that it isn't much of a grower. Even more offensive than his music is the fact that his shtick, at its foundation, can always be reduced to mere minstrelsy. This is a safe and ultimately shallow, Fisher-Price representation of Jewish culture that not-so-coincidentally bores the shit out of a ton of real Jews, yet appeals immensely to eager, politically correct gentiles, which is testament to both the artist's beguiling insincerity and the mainstream's gullibility. Don't let those self-conscious, silly Old Testament references fool you, my sons. Seriously, boycott this abhorrent shit. May God have mercy on Matisyahu's soul. MORGAN TROPER

SASSPARILLA, AND AND AND, THE JACKALOPE SAINTS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Count yourself part of the majority if your first spin of Sassparilla's new LP Magpie was followed by a bout of confusion. The Portland six-piece's typically rootsy basics remain intact, but rather than being whisked into a frothy folk-punk batter, Magpie's tunes tread lightly. Album opener "Threadbare" is about as dangerous as a Barenaked Ladies epic, with "The Mary Celeste" sounding essentially the same. Luckily, "Two Black Hearts," though immersed in a hokey honky-tonk groove, returns to what makes Sassparilla such a great live band: lots of harmonica and heel-kickin' melody. Although their cohesiveness falters here into a hardly recognizable shell of the washboard/resonator guitar/accordion stomp they've come to be known for, Magpie does excel in provoking a somewhat haunted alternate persona—one that's listened to lots of '70s FM radio. Or a lot of Lambchop. RJP

SUNDAY 9/23

THE LOWER 48, SHY GIRLS
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) The overhanging echo of '80s R&B in the sultry slow jams of Shy Girls is undeniable, but this isn't just a case of a band trying its hardest to ape a style that's cyclically come back into vogue. Rather, the Portland band has mastered the form with a complete appreciation for all its strengths and subtleties; now they're punching new boundaries for it. Their 2011 EP Sex in the City shows a sliver of that promise, finding a weird, magic pocket of swing and soul within its rigid electronic beats—it's that point just before funk gets stiff, where bump 'n' grind feels sexy without becoming pornographic. But for the real Shy Girls experience, get yourself in front of a stage where they are playing. The group is playful but tight, transforming these suggestive mating calls into something much grander. Bring a date, and become a believer: Shy Girls are one of the best live bands in town right now. NL

KREATOR, ACCEPT, SWALLOW THE SUN, WEHRMACHT
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) At first glance, Accept and Kreator sharing a stage seems a little misguided. Accept's brand of traditional heavy metal rock 'n' roll doesn't seem to play nice with Kreator's lightning-fast, decapitating thrash. But if you read between the lines and look at the two bands' recent track records, the timing for this bill is perfect, because each of them are enjoying a welcomed resurgence. Within the past four years, both German bands have released two albums to virtually unanimous critical acclaim. Accept's Blood of the Nations and Stalingrad sound as good as anything from their golden years, but feature TT Quick's Mark Tornillo replacing Udo Dirkschneider on vocals. Despite some purists' wrinkled noses, Tornillo's gruff and Udo-like range complements the band's tough-as-steel riffs. Kreator's Hordes of Chaos and Phantom Antichrist both boil over with whiplash-inducing speed bursts and Mille Petrozza's signature snarl. The former has much more flair and dexterity then the latter, but both are good listens. Accept and Kreator are classic metal champions who are tired of experimenting. Thankfully, they still know that what they do best is what their fans want. ARIS WALES

MONDAY 9/24

Warm, cuddly birthday wishes to Slipknot percussionist 6 (AKA "Clown"). He's the dreamiest!

TUESDAY 9/25

GROUPLOVE, ALT-J
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

ZAMBRI
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The Zambri sisters, Cristi Jo and Jessica, inhabit a sonically dark house of their own devising, one with stairways to nowhere and a super scary basement. Though they've been making music and performing live for years, their debut album, House of Baasa, was released just this year. It's a fascinating, challenging album, which I guess is a reviewer's way of saying "hard to describe." At times it's thrilling and abundant and exhilarating, at others it's jagged and discordant and hard. Sometimes it's heartbreakingly gorgeous, with swelling, shoegazey lyrics, and other times it falls flat and disappoints. This could be as much a product of living in New York City as it is of extremely personal, freewheeling experimentation. They've added a drummer and multi-instrumentalist to their live lineup, which just might carry them over the hump of accessibility. RW

WEDNESDAY 9/26

THE SHINS, WASHED OUT
(Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay) See My, What a Busy Week!

ODD FUTURE WOLF GANG KILL THEM ALL
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) It's always hilarious to try and watch people—journalists or otherwise—put some all-encompassing theory or grand narrative behind Los Angeles' Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All. The fact is they're apathetic as fuck about what any of us think. But that's what stimulates the national appeal. They're so aware of societal entrapment and the irregularities of disillusioned youth that they can't help but incorporate lyrics of dysfunctionality with blaring identity declaration. See their power? Now I'm the product of my initial criticism. Regardless, check out the music video for "Oldie" off their debut album The OF Tape, Vol. 2: It's 10 minutes of verse from the core members of the group, all tracked over footage that heavily suggests their natural day-to-day. JONATHAN MAGDALENO Also see My, What a Busy Week!

K.FLAY, MICHNA
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Like many of the best rappers, K.Flay's career began in California—albeit in a Stanford University dorm room. But that first silly parody of a genre from which she had always felt alienated evidently hit a spot in her brain. A handful of EPs and mixtapes later, she's become one of the most boundary-pushing voices in hiphop. On her Eyes Shut EP, a free download on her website, K.Flay ranges from aggressive to sunshiny with surprising frequency and agility. It's impossible to tune out her cyclonic lyrics, which are fast and mind-boggling and witty. K.Flay makes her own beats and credits Parliament-Funkadelic as one of her biggest inspirations. This gives her at least a few things in common with the most influential producer in the history of hiphop, Dr. Dre. So I'd be excited to hear her repertoire of thin tracks and squeaky samples expand to include meatier, G-funk-inspired beats. RW

DODGE LOGIC, TOMTEN, CONSTELLATION PRIZE
(Ella Street Social Club, 714 SW 20th Pl) Fans of the late, lamented the Dutchess and the Duke might find some solace in their Emerald City citymates Tomten. Not that the quartet attempts D&D's dueling boy-girl campfire intimacy. Rather, Tomten shares a similar affinity for the smokiest, most world weary of all the amber-tinted folk-psych-pop made in the '60s: Between the Buttons, Songs of Leonard Cohen, Chelsea Girl. Frontman Brian Noyeswatkins sounds like Mick Jagger at his "Lady Jane"-iest, as the band traffics in lovely, organ-augmented tones that flicker like candlelight. Their album Wednesday's Children makes good on the promise of the Ta Ta Dana EP (whose title track makes a welcome reappearance on the full-length), and Tomten makes clear that they're capable of making great tunes that stand on their own strength, no references to the past required. NL

Comments (0)

Subscribe to this thread:

Comments are closed.

From the Archives

Staff Pick Events

Most Commented On

Top Viewed Stories

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC

115 SW Ash St. Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Production Guidelines | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy